March 03, 2017

An early example of overscheduled children. Credit: Boston Public Library / Flickr Creative Commons

Have you ever had the experience of scheduling a hangout with a close friend and then beginning to dread it?  

Selin Malkoc, a marketing professor at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, says there’s a problem with the way we treat our leisure time. Yes, it might be good to schedule that business meeting or an upcoming coffee with a colleague, but when it comes to fun, put that planner away!

Three Takeaways:

  • After years fighting epidemics overseas, Slutkin returned to his hometown of Chicago and noticed that violence in urban neighborhoods was spreading along a very familiar pattern. “I just began to look at graphs and charts and maps like any epidemiologist would,” he says. “It was behaving the same way as other infectious disease problems, and so it was interesting enough to say, ‘What if we look at this in that way and began to treat it in that way?’” 
  • Giving a fun activity a “specific beginning and end time,” Malkoc explains, “starts to feel like a work task.”
  • So how do you make sure you leave time for fun? Malkoc says that flexibility is everything. If you have a window without a scheduled start and finish, “that feels as good as scheduling something on the fly.”

More Reading:

Body and Mind, Selin Malkoc, free time, Kara Miller

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